Sport

Rochester ready to clip Eagles’ wings

By Aydin Payne

Rochester and Mansfield will descend on Moon Oval tomorrow in a fight to keep their top six aspirations alive.

Separated by less than two per cent and a game outside the six, Mansfield (seventh) and Rochester’s (eighth) have plenty on the line in their Goulburn Valley League clash.

Tigers coach James Flaherty, Wil Hamilton and Lachie Watson will return for tomorrow’s clash.

Hamilton returns after his appearance for Vic Country in the under-19 Challenge Cup against the VAFA.

Nathan Marrone (two goals) and Liam Bartels (four) were standouts in Rochester’s win against Mooroopna last round.

Vic Country representative Marrone is enjoying an impressive month of football, featuring in the best each week.

‘‘We understand that when you begin a season 0-4 that each game is going to be a high stakes match,’’ he said.

‘‘But since then we are 4-1 and have steadily built some momentum.

‘‘Now we just need to keep building on that momentum.’’

Mansfield is coming off a 15-point loss against Shepparton, with Patty Marks (three goals) and Jayme Rekers (two) leading the way.

Eagles coach Andrew Browne told Coaching Eagles that his side needed to be cleaner when kicking into their forward line.

‘‘In order for us to remain competitive we need to find an efficient means of transitioning the ball from our defensive half to our forward line,’’ he told Coaching Eagles.

‘‘Due to the lack of ball movement, our opposition dropped numbers into the back half and intercepted the ball.’’

Browne’s troops will need to improve their delivery in order to make life easier for tall marking forward James Lawton.

Lawton has been a revelation in attack this season, with the first-year Eagle booting 36 goals at an average of four a game.

Flaherty said his side would look to shut down Mansfield’s midfield group, in order to cut off the supply to Lawton.